Friday, August 21, 2009

Let my people go slaying

I read Yvon Chouinard's business memoir "Let my People go Surfing" a few months ago. I think if it works for Patagonia then it must apply on a small scale as well to keep morale up and burn-out low, even if its a one person business. High pressure bluebird skies at the end of August is the Alaska summer equivalent of a good surf swell or a winter day of cold smoke.

Bashful peak at 8005' highest peak in Chugash State park, rising almost 7000' vertical feet above Eklutna lake. It was a worthy objective for what I call an "Eric day", have not had any real solo mountain time this year and have been craving it.

The 10 miles around Eklutna lake were quickly put behind me thanks to the karate monkey with marathon XR's, made it to Styver's Gully in an hour from the parking lot. Armed with good route beta I picked up the faint path that lead steeply to the hanging valley and mostly avoided bushwacking.

The Fireweed is saying goodbye to summer too.

With 5000' of ridgeline ahead of me there was no time for lollygagging. Gained the ridge via the tundra ramp on the far right after bashing across the moraine.

The first 3000' went by pretty nice, decent footing and just classic ridge hiking. Higher I left the mosses that bind the rock together and the scree slogging began in earnst.

Chicken shit gully - the crux of the route. It's nasty. Terrible footing and awful rock. I tried leading up the center part to avoid rockfall on the easier gully with a trace of ice to the right, but eventually had to back off, down climb and run the gauntlet up the steep semi-frozen dirt/rock with kitty litter. Chugash crud at it's worst.

Above Chickenshit the altitude and scree slowed me down, but the views - damn!

The last bit to the summit. Reminding me what state I'm in..

It's pretty amazing, the summit register had about 10 entries in the last 5 years. Thinking how this is the highest summit in the area I'm surprised Bashful does not see more attention. It's what I love about climbing in the Chugash - There is no guide book. To figure out the peaks you need to do some homework and then just see what you find when you get there.

Down down down. 7000' worth

I'm going to push for the "let my people go slaying" program at the next board meeting.

Bashful Peak from Eric Parsons on Vimeo.


Anonymous said...

Super sweet photos and an awesome fall escape. Hopefully your motto takes hold in the boardroom... :)

Dan's Tango Life said...

Termination dust above Chickenshit?? Very nice write-up Eric, put me right back there. Good luck with the Board!

William Finley said...

Awesome! How bad was the gully for real?

Jill Homer said...

Wow. Incredible. Super envious right now.

Taz said...

funny, reading this i laughed to myself when you said the air at 8005' slowed you down, cause I live at ~8700, but i guess its all what you are used to right?

Eric said...

yeah, living at sea level does it..

coastkid said...

great wee film,amazing views!,looks like years worth of peaks there!

coastkid said...

great wee film!,stunning scenery,looks like years worth of routes!

Ed Plumb said...

Killer vid Eric...and awesome scenery. I wish we had some big terrain like that in our backyard up here in Fairbanks.